See also: run-in



run in (not comparable)

  1. (participial adjective; editing, typography) Having been run in before or behind previous text.
    These headings are run in because a free-hanging style would just be a waste of column inches.
  2. (participial adjective; mechanical, engineering) Having been run in to seat the parts.
    A well run in engine will burn less oil over its life span.
    Synonym: broken in


run in (plural run ins)

  1. Alternative spelling of run-in


run in (third-person singular simple present runs in, present participle running in, simple past ran in, past participle run in)

  1. (transitive, informal, chiefly passive) To arrest.
    The guys who robbed the bank last week have finally been run in.
    (compare also run down)
  2. (transitive, Britain) To use new machinery at less than full speed, preventing damage.
    I have to drive slowly for the first 1,000 miles to run the engine in.
    Synonym: break in (transitive sense)
  3. (figuratively) To start a new regime slowly.
    Synonym: phase in
  4. (rugby) To score (a try).
    • 2011 September 16, Ben Dirs, “Rugby World Cup 2011: New Zealand 83-7 Japan”, in BBC Sport[1]:
      Toeava went over unopposed to stretch his side's lead but Japan got on the scoreboard on 56 minutes, wing Hirotoki Onozawa intercepting an attempted offload from Slade, who had a rather flaky game, and running in from the All Blacks' 10m line.
  5. (printing) To insert (a word, etc.) without making a line break or new paragraph (so that it is not free-hanging).
  6. (printing) To alter the position of matter to fill vacant space.
  7. simple past tense and past participle of run in


  • (arrest): 1873, John Camden Hotten, The Slang Dictionary